Happy (late) Birthday To Me!
6/18/2008 05:53:00 PM | Author: Christa
Last month I turned ::coughcoughcough::. ;)

In addition to that, it was a very busy month. We had parties and BBQs and concerts and fishing every weekend! On my actual birthday, May 17, we attended Ed and Vanessa's surprise wedding.

So, I ended up not doing anything special for my birthday. No dinner out. No party for me. But, that didn't bother me at all. I wasn't really feeling the urge to celebrate this one anyway.

But then I thought, I should do something special for myself. Make this birthday a good one, one I will want to remember.

So, John and I got tattoos together!

Sound like a spur of the moment thing? Nope. We've been talking about it for a long time. And I decided that this was a perfect way for me to get over my birthday annoyance.

So, last month, we headed over to Iron Brush Tattoo. John has 3 previous tattoos that were done by the amazing tattoo artist, Tyson Schaffert, owner of Iron Brush. So we both wanted our new ones to be done by him.

Well, due to the fact that Tyson is an amazing artist, he is very much in demand. So, the next appointment he had available was June 11. Oh well, no tattoo for me on my birthday, I'll have to wait a month.

And the wait was totally worth it, don't you agree?

My new tattoo - on my left ankle. It goes all the way around .
New tattoo!

John's new tattoo - on his left forearm.
John's new tattoo

Notice the similarity?

Yup, they both have the same celtic knot symbol as the basis, but done how we each wanted it to look.

John wanted a metallic look. He drew it up himself in blues and yellows. Tyson recommended the black background, to really make it pop. When it was done, John came out to show it to me. I think he was upset about how I looked when I saw it. I liked it, really, I did! But, I said, where'd the red come from? John told me that in the middle of doing it, the idea to add the red just popped into Tyson's head. He asked John what he thought and John told him to go for it. And of course, it came out awesome, because Tyson is awesome.

For mine, I had a picture of a tree of life tattoo, to show the kind of realistic branches that I liked. And I had the basic celtic knot symbol. Not being as artistic as John, the design was all in my head. I described what I wanted to Tyson, and he drew it up for me. When he showed his drawing to me, all I could say was WOW! It was better than anything I had pictured. He added the leaves, I hadn't even thought about those. He said he'd done wood before, but not tree branches like this. If that's true, I'd say this is crazy good for his first time!

And yes, it hurt. I limped around for a few days. We're both slathering on the Lubriderm. And now the hellish itching stage has begun.

And just to make an already exciting day even better - on the way home, the tornado sirens went off! Yay!

But no matter. I am now sporting a beautiful piece of original Tyson art.

It's a celebration of my birthday, a representation of my Irish heritage, and a symbol of the love that John and I share. And I will wear it proudly forever.
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Wil Wheaton is my Hero
4/29/2008 09:47:00 PM | Author: Christa

Ms. Pac-Man, ghost chompin'
Originally uploaded by WilWheaton.

Read what Wil said and be enlightened.
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4/03/2008 10:58:00 AM | Author: Christa

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.
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I think I'm full
4/03/2008 12:02:00 AM | Author: Christa
I have a love-hate relationship with RSS feeds.

RSS is a great invention. I love not having to jump all over the web to read the blogs and news and cartoons that I like. RSS is one-stop-shopping for information junkies like me.

And I'm always finding new feeds to add to my Bloglines. Some I come upon by accident. The intertubes are full of serendipity. Some I find out about from blogs I'm already following. Some come from friends and colleagues. It's a never ending process.

And that's the problem. There's just too many great feeds out there. And I NEED to follow them all!

But keeping up with them all is pretty much impossible. I actually have two Bloglines account - one for work-related feeds and one for personal feeds. If I had them all in one account, I'd probably lose my mind trying to read everything all day long. So to try and stay slightly sane, I only read the work feeds at work and the personal ones at home.

Is it really helping though? A quick glance thru both of my Bloglines says no. Lots and lots of unread items. I may have to do a wipe - mark everything read and start clean.

But can I do it? What if I miss something important?? What will I do???
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3/31/2008 11:21:00 PM | Author: Christa
I've been doing this Book a Month Challenge since January. And it's been going well. At least, the reading part. The reviewing and blogging part...not so much.

So, you're going to get a twofer today - two BAM reviews in one! Are you totally thrilled? I thought so.

First up is my BAM for February, for the Heart theme - The Ghatti's Tale: Book One: Finders-Seekers, by Gayle Greeno.

I've always been a scifi/fantasy fan, and this book has a little of both. Mostly fantasy at the time of the story, but scifi in the past. Colonists from earth came to the planet Methuen over 200 years ago. Most of their technology has been mysteriously destroyed over the years. Now, they live as the natives, and have developed a new native ability.

There is also a race of large cats native to Methuen, called ghatti, who can speak telepathically to humans, if they choose to bond with them. I wish I could talk to my cats, in any way at all. Would make my life so much easier.

Anyway, telepathic humans and ghatti are being murdered. One pair of Bondmates, a woman Doyce, and her ghatta Khar'pern, have been chosen to find out who is doing this and why. Doyce has a special interest in the murders because her intended fiance has become one of the victims.

I was thoroughly engrossed in this story and the characters. This is the first book in a three book series. And now I need to find the other two books, because I have to know what happens next!

The BAM theme for March was Craft. I choose a book related to my chosen craft, librarianship - Seneca Falls Inheritance, by Miriam Grace Monfredo. Now, I have to come clean here - I have read this book before. But it was over 10 years ago. And when the Craft theme was announced, it popped right into my head as the perfect book. So, I gave in and re-read it.

The feminist in me loves this book for the independent Glynis Tryon, helping organize the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls. The fact that Glynis is a librarian doesn't hurt either. She's a smart, stubborn, educated woman struggling to solve a woman's murder in her small town. The New Yorker in me feels very much at home in Seneca Falls, a city I have actually visited myself.

Even 10 years later, I still find this book both educational and entertaining. I have 3 of the sequels to this book, too. Wonder if I have time to read them before April's BAM?
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3/30/2008 10:28:00 PM | Author: Christa
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
~Arthur C. Clarke

A classic quote from a legendary author.

And it is a quote that I've always loved. But the more I look at it and think about it, I have to wonder if it still applies to our world.

I'm watching the Transformers movie while writing this. Huge robots from outer space coming to Earth. Does anyone think they are magic? Of course not.

"I bought a car. Turned out to be an alien robot. Who knew?", says a nonchalant Sam Witwicky.

More technologically advanced than us? Totally. But magic? Don't be silly! Never even enters anyone's mind.

Now if the Autobots had shown up 500 years ago, I'm pretty sure they would have been seen as demons and anyone who helped them would have been burned as witches.

But I can't imagine today picking "magic" as an explaination for some advanced alien race I have never seen before. I've been exposed to way too much scifi and fantasy in my lifetime (thanks, Mom!) to not have an open mind about anything I might encounter. At least, I hope I would.

Hmm...maybe it would be more interesting to come across something that I can't explain away so easily. Is anybody ... any thing ... out there?
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Decoding my DNA
3/30/2008 10:21:00 PM | Author: Christa
My Flickr DNA, that is.

A while ago, I don't remember when, I added Flickr DNA, from fd's Flickr Toys, to my Flickr profile. It's a pretty cool app that I should check on more often, because the information it shows about me and my Flickr changes over time.

There's some basic info about me. Most recent photos. My favorites, sets, contacts, and groups I'm in.

But there's also some really fun things in my DNA, too. Like my "most interesting photos".

Flickr uses a secret algorithm to categorize photos with the most "interestingness". I have no clue how it works, but for some reason, pictures from Second Life, and John with our ferret Twitch on his head always end up at the top of my interestingness list. Go figure.

Another cool thing about my Flickr DNA is at the very bottom, where i can "ego surf".

Following links to Technorati or Google Blog Search, I can find out who has used pictures from my Flickr. It's very humbling to find out that all sorts of people, all over the world, are looking at pictures I have taken. And that they think the pictures are worth using on their own blogs!
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Me, too
3/04/2008 10:06:00 PM | Author: Christa
Gary Gygax Memorial Cat

Gary Gygax, 'Father of D&D,' Dies at 69
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The Most Wonderful Thing About Tigger...
2/26/2008 10:50:00 PM | Author: Christa

Originally uploaded by Photos o' Randomness.
...is that he was the very first picture I uploaded to my Flickr.

It's been over a year and he's all grown up now. Physically that is. Mentally...not so sure about that.

Since that first set of pictures of my Mom's kittens, I've done an OK job of adding to my Flickr. I know having the account has made me take lots more pictures than I used to. But, that's not always as great as it sounds.

You see, I sometimes take so many pictures, that I don't get them uploaded to Flickr very quickly. Or at all.

For example, right now I have all of my Christmas photos on my computer. Yup, they're off the camera, but that's as far as they've gone. I'm sure I'll get to them. Soon. Maybe.

Oh, and another wonderful thing about Tigger? He's my Thing #5. :)
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I knew it!
2/22/2008 11:48:00 AM | Author: Christa
Messy desks are a sign of genius.

Just ask Albert Einstein.

Or me. ;)
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Time to learn something
2/20/2008 02:53:00 PM | Author: Christa
So, now I'm finally posting on the second "blogging required" project I got myself into this year - Learning 2.0 at the Nebraska Library Commission!

The program actually started last week, but we didn't have to blog anything until this week. And those of you that know me, please don't be shocked that I didn't procrastinate this until the very last day. I'm sure this crazy proactiveness (yup, I am an accomplished wordsmith, too.) won't last. I'll be back to my lazy self soon, don't you worry.

I just finished watching the online tutorial Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners.

First, it is a great explanation of what we are trying to do with Learning 2.0. Really helped me understand what I can do, and what I have already been doing without realizing it. Lifelong learning isn't something you have to consciously do. You don't have to sit down and say, "OK, now I am going to learn this." It just happens! Pretty cool.

I think the hardest habit for me would be #3 - View problems as challenges. Well, at the start it's hard. It's much easier to just be annoyed and get upset about problems that crop up. I do that real quick. Just ask anyone who's heard me muttering in my office. But then, I take a few deep breaths, and dive in to solve the problem. It all works out in the end....usually.

The easiest habit for me is a no-brainer - #7 1/2 - PLAY! I do that all the time! I enjoy trying out new things, figuring out how they work, finding all the tips and tricks I can online. It may be my downfall some days, though. I can get TOO involved in learning something new and fun. Then mundane things like cleaning the house or weeding my e-mail can get pushed way to the bottom of my to-do list.

But then the dust bunny creeps out from under the couch and starts harassing the cats and I have to go broom it into submission.

#7 1/2 + #3 = It all works out in the end.
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1/31/2008 10:48:00 PM | Author: Christa
One week ago today, I joined BAM! No, it's not some spicy chef-worshiping cult.

BAM is the Book A Month Challenge, created by Katie, the Young Librarian. Each month, Katie reveals a theme. Then you read a book that relates to that theme, and post a review of it.

So, I just learned about BAM a week ago. Yeah, not much time to figure out what to read, and read it, and write a coherent review of it.

The theme for January is Time. And guess how lucky I am? I was already half-way thru a book that fit the theme!

For Christmas, I received two biographies by Wil Wheaton. Yes, THAT Wil Wheaton. Wesley Crusher himself! Sometime last year, I don't remember when, I discoverd his blog. And then his Twitter...and then Flickr. Makes me look like a stalker, doesn't it? But no, I'm not. He puts himself right out there, just like the rest of us.

So, I started with Just A Geek:Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise. Wow, that's a freakishly long title. We'll call it Just A Geek from now on. It's a collection of some of the posts from his blog, but with updated info and commentary by him.

Now, you may only know Wil Wheaton as an actor. But I've discovered that Wil is also a great storyteller. I started just reading his blog, jumping around seeing what he has been saying over the years. He is funny and smart and he can definitely make you all teary-eyed if he wants to. Which is why I asked for all his books for Christmas. I have to read Dancing Barefoot next. And I still need to get his newest one, The Happiest Days of Our Lives.

My favorite part of Just A Geek is when Wil looks back on his old blog posts with a new perspective. Time changes things. He looks back and see events very differently. Sometimes he had to wait until years later to understand what was really happening. And other times, you learn that the real story wasn't really told in the first place. Looking back on his life helps him come to terms with what really happened and share the truth with his readers.

Yes, there are some Star Trek stories in there, which made the Star Trek fan in me squee. And yes, he is quite the geek, another plus from the geek in me.

Wil Wheaton is now working on writing fiction. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
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Worst. Blogger. Ever?
1/29/2008 10:49:00 PM | Author: Christa
Did I win? Did I win?!?

I tried to be a bad blogger. Really I did. But, I just couldn't be the world's absolute worst blogger.

This space has been full of loads of silence for over 2 months. It turns out that's not good enough.

Nope. Instead that title went to the guy at that blog that posted only one word a day:






And then....nothing. He just stopped blogging. Drink your what??? It's a mystery now. No one knows. Except the guy behind....oh, what was it now? bigprize.com? importanttrophy.com? Something like that. I can't remember the exact URL. But I'm sure you'll be able to Google it.

So, now that I'm a complete failure at being the World's Worst Blogger, I suppose I'll have to actually start using this thing again.

Oh, and there's also the fact that I've committed myself to a couple of new projects this year that require me to blog about them. Silly me, being all involved in things and stuff.

So....I'm baaaack. It's randomness time!
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